There are a number of decent games this week, but no huge ones. The best outside the top 3 are rivalry games that aren’t expected to be close: Tennessee-Florida and Texas Tech-Texas. Utah and Boise State, the two BCS busters of past seasons who are looking strong again, also have relatively tough opponents up next in Oregon and Fresno State. But the biggest three are these:
#14 Georgia Tech at #20 Miami. In Clemson and Florida State, these teams have one good conference win apiece already, and a second could put them into co-favorite status in the ACC Coastal with Virginia Tech—a game that will come next week for Miami. (Side note: how about Miami’s schedule? Their first four games are at FSU, GT, at VT, Oklahoma). Last year, the Jackets took this won with nearly 500 yards on the ground and fewer than 50 in the air. You know what they’re going to do.
#19 Nebraska at #13 Virginia Tech. Nebraska has lit up two Sun Belt teams so far, but that won’t impress fans in Lincoln. The Huskers haven’t been ranked above #14 or even beaten a top 20 team in a half-decade, and this is their chance to change that around. Nebraska will be favored in every other game they play until November. For their part, the Hokies still need to make up for the loss to Alabama and get right headed into ACC play, where they’ll also face a manageable schedule.
Florida State at #7 BYU. The difference between this and the Boise State and Utah games is that BYU is a legitimate national title contender. A win here, and they will have two against Cadillac programs, including preseason #3 Oklahoma, and have two more games, both at home, against ranked teams: TCU and Utah. That’s a stronger profile than the one that almost took 2007 West Virginia into the championship game. Suppose only one major conference team runs the table. Considering fellow Mountain West-er Utah has been hugely impressive in two BCS trips, wouldn’t BYU have a case to get in? If they win their big games in style, I say they would. And that makes this game count.
Miami (62/38). Miami is better right now than Clemson, and GT barely weathered the Tigers at home. If they get down, they cannot pass their way back into a game.
Nebraska (35/65). I could make either case, but here’s Nebraska’s: They scored 34 points a game last year, even throwing out the weak out of conference schedule, and VT got tripled up in yardage by Alabama. Also, the Huskers have had two weak opponents and follow the Hokies with Louisiana (Lafayette) and a bye, so this is their only focus of the first five weeks of the season.
BYU (73/27). Because BYU’s good this year.
Last Week: 63-59
Year to Date: 133-94, .586